Ovum Pick up - Buffalo

The Ovum Pick Up technique in buffalo, as in cattle, consists in the transvaginal recovery of the oocytes by follicular aspiration with the help of an ultrasound probe followed by in vitro fertilisation and culture of the fertilised oocytes. The procedure is described in more detail in the bovine Ovum Pick Up page.

This technique is particularly important in buffalo where genetic improvement is slow mainly because of the poor reproductive performances under intensive animal farming. These are due to:

  • difficulties in heat detection;
  • limited use of artificial insemination;
  • poor fertility of frozen semen;
  • poor response to superovulation (average of 1-2 embryos recovered versus 5-6 embryos in cattle).

Buffaloes born in 1998 at Gerardo da Izano of Massari farm, through OPU technique.


Ovum pick up advantages in buffalo

The OPU technique allows to overcome most of the reproductive difficulties mentioned above as:

  • there is no need for hormonal treatment;
  • embryos can be produced in short time with 1-2 oocyte collections per week obtaining an average of 1 embryo per collection;
  • there is no interference with the reproductive and productive cycle and therefore there is no loss of milk production;
  • all female buffalo are suitable donors from 18 months of age onwards, also during the first 3 months of gestation;
  • sexed semen (commercially available) can be used for in vitro fertilisation.

In 1997 Avantea team began to develop the OPU technology in buffalo obtaining the world-first calves derived from frozen embryos that were produced in vitro.

The results already obtained by Avantea show that Ovum Pick Up is the most efficient reproductive technique to exploit the genetics of superior buffaloes and to increase productivity of a buffalo herd.

For more information, contact us